Respectfully Saying

Respectfully Saying "No": Setting Healthy Boundaries

Setting boundaries with others can be difficult; however, setting healthy boundaries can improve our overall wellness and mindset. Learning to respectfully say “no” to the requests or demands of others can help us build resolve and find focus in our own lives. We may have learned to say “yes” and put the needs of others ahead of our interests.

One important aspect of recovery is building the resiliency and the strength to view our own needs as being just as important as the needs of others. During recovery from addictive behaviors, we may need to limit our time with those who may trigger our behaviors or who bring out the worst in us.

We may also develop new goals and appear to change to those around us. Setting healthy boundaries will help us maintain our focus and remain on our path to recovery.

Saying “No” Feels Selfish: Putting Ourselves Ahead

We may struggle with setting boundaries. We may feel like saying “no” to the requests or demands of others is selfish. Many of us in recovery may not feel comfortable putting our needs ahead of others. We may not have the confidence to state what we want or we may have been told that we must care for others first. While we may feel conflicted about saying “no,” learning to set healthy boundaries is not selfish!

Failing to set healthy boundaries can lead to us committing to things we do not want to do. We may find ourselves lost in fulfilling the needs of others as if we are dragged along in life rather than seeking our interests. Learning to take care of ourselves is not selfish and saying “no” to things that go against our best interests is one of the healthiest things we can do for our mental wellness.

When we set healthy boundaries with others, we reinforce the idea that we also matter. Sometimes, we may be tempted by others to engage in behaviors we know may lead us astray in our recovery. Others may be asking us to go out for a few drinks, making us feel like we are being rude when we decline. When we start recovery and we begin to grow, the people in our lives may not be able to cope with our change.

They may not understand our change or they may say that we are a completely different person. Even when we change for the better, others may not understand. They may also feel like they have lost a friend or a drinking companion. However, if we do not learn to care for ourselves and advocate for our interests, we may be swayed from our growth and improvement. After all, if we do not stand up for ourselves, who will?

Standing up for Yourself: Boundaries and Self-Advocacy

Setting boundaries is one of the first steps toward self-advocacy. When we give in to the requests and the demands of others that go against our health and well-being, we are essentially saying to ourselves that we do not matter. We are relenting and telling ourselves that we are unimportant and that our goals are not as significant as the needs of others.

We need to learn to stand up for ourselves! We are important and our goals do matter! Beginning recovery from addictive behaviors is one of the first steps towards self-care. We seek out self-improvement and know that our lives are important. We start to establish healthy routines and set goals for ourselves. We start to lead our lives rather than going with the flow at the whim of the demands of others.

Recovery begins with recognizing that we need help and that we wanted something better. We are moving forward from old habits and taking charge of our lives. Saying “no” to others can be a critical step to moving forward. When we know what we want out of life, we will find saying “no” to others much easier. Once we establish some goals for ourselves, we will begin to recognize what goes against our self-interests.

Remember that caring for our own needs is not selfish! The best way to help others is by caring for ourselves first. Setting healthy boundaries can seem difficult at first. However, once we begin to see how much we can grow by recognizing that our needs also matter, we will begin to soar in recovery! We will be able to free up our time to focus on things that are important to us by respectfully saying no to every demand that goes against our growth and well-being.

What are your goals in recovery? What do you want to accomplish? What is important to you? These are questions that will help to guide you along your recovery journey. When you begin to grow and change, others around you may have a difficult time letting go. They may have preconceived notions of who you are and struggle with the new you. They may try to pressure you to engage in former addictive behaviors that led you toward your recovery journey. Learning to say “no” to others can help us establish healthy boundaries and can remind us that we matter! Your recovery goals are important and if you do not stand up for yourself, who will? You are not alone in your experiences and your recovery. Sometimes, we may need to seek others for guidance and positive feedback. Enlightened Solutions is here to help you with your recovery journey. Call us at (833) 801-5483 today!


Boundaries to Set For Those Struggling with Addiction

Boundaries are important for any kind of relationship you have whether it is between you and a friend, spouse, who you are dating, a professional, or someone with an addiction. These boundaries lay down the ground rules of what is considered to be appropriate behavior and actions. By establishing boundaries between yourself and your loved one facing addiction, you will be able to take care of yourself and establish a clear understanding of your wants and needs and clear communication of your thoughts and feelings.

When It’s Important to Establish Boundaries

The time to establish boundaries with your loved one with addiction is when you are constantly criticizing that person. You keep criticizing them for their bad behavior, but they are still ignoring what you are saying and causing more trouble. It can also be when you keep covering for this person liking lying for them when others ask about their behavior, covering for them at work by calling in sick for them, picking up that person from the bar, or bailing them out of jail.

It can also be when you are taken advantage of or if that person is stealing your money. You have felt like letting it pass because you know that their addiction is not their fault. At the same time, it is your bank account that is being wiped clean. You may also feel like you have to walk on eggshells around this person because they are quick to anger and depression if you say something to antagonize them. To avoid being afraid of your loved one, setting boundaries will show how you feel about their unhealthy behaviors and not letting them get away with it.

What is Allowed Near You and the House

Let your loved one know that if they plan on staying in your home, let them know what is and is not acceptable in your home. If you do not want illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine in your home, let your loved one know about it. If you do not want your loved one to drink in the presence of children, tell them that. You are being nice by letting your loved one stay in your home knowing that they have a problem with drugs. Let that person know that if they do not listen to you, they can find somewhere else to live or will notify the police. This is your home that you are kind enough to accept a guest in. Setting boundaries will give you control over where you live as well as the safety of your children.

Who is Allowed In Your Home

Your loved one may be in recovery but is still inviting their friends who still drink or do drugs. You should not have to put up with the wild parties of people in your house smelling like booze or people shooting up on drugs. You and your children should not have to be a witness to unhealthy behaviors and you should put a stop to it. Let them know that you may not be able to stop your loved one from keeping their friends but that they have no business appearing in your house and substance abusing in front of you and others.

Refusal to Rescue

Many people with addiction end up in jail for either possession of drugs or crimes involving in acquiring drugs like robbery or assault. If your loved one is not getting help, then that increases their chances of many jail visits. Maybe in the past, you have bailed your loved one out more than once and brought them back home. This time, you need to let your loved one know that you are not to bail them out again. That they need to take responsibility for their actions. Your loved one may not want to acknowledge their drug problem, but they should acknowledge the punishments that arise when the law takes notice of your criminal activities.

Refusal to Lend Money

Another way that you could enabling someone’s addiction is lending money whenever they ask such as telling you they are behind on rent, groceries, bills. If they have a drug problem, you know that they are using it to acquire more drugs. You are no longer a spouse, a friend, a sibling, a neighbor, etc. You are instead an enabler, caretaker, or a pleaser. Always giving money whenever your loved one asks is not taking care of them but ignoring their problem. A boundary you can set on them is that you refuse to give them any more money. That if they are in a financial bind, they can seek treatment to fix their thoughts about needing drugs or to get a job of their own to fund their drug habit instead of continuing to come to you. It may seem harsh to refuse when a loved one asks for money, but you are merely doing it to take care of yourself and your own financial assets.

Refusal to Lie or Cover Despite Circumstances

The most important thing you can tell your loved one who is struggling with drug addiction is that you will not lie or cover for them anymore. That your loved one needs to take responsibilities for their own actions. Setting these boundaries will show how much you take that person’s drug addiction seriously and to help them better be aware that they need treatment.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Saying “No” Is Easy To Do

No means no. We might mean to say no, but somehow it always turns into a yes. Learning to say no is an important part of addiction recovery. Each day we are saying no to our very impulses and brain chemistry asking us to go back out and drink or use.

Start Small And Work Your Way Up

Empowerment isn’t always comfortable and neither are boundaries. When we are raised in a home without healthy boundaries, we grow up without understanding what they are or how to set them. Learning how to say no and set boundaries can feel awkward at first because of this. Before you start saying no in big situations, try starting off small. You might be surprised to discover the amount of times per day you are given the opportunity to say no.

Learn More About “No” As You Go (And Grow)

Boundaries, or the lack thereof, are not the only reason we have a hard time saying no. How We think and feel about rejecting what we don’t want, don’t need, or can’t do, has been molded over time. Part of the empowerment process is learning about ourselves and what makes us who we are. Investigate how you've been shown “no”throughout your life. You might discover some of the insightful information which helps you release your past attachments and make more no decisions in the future.

Stop Apologizing For Saying No

Part of the framing we have around no often has to do with guilt. We might have been shown that it is wrong or bad to say no to people. In the past, we might have been shamed or even abused, for saying “no” to something. As a result, we experience pains of guilt and remorse when we simply say no. Overtime we learn not to apologize for standing up for ourselves, setting boundaries, and setting healthy limitations on what we are capable of committing to at any point in time.

Make Your No’s Clear And Concise

When we are learning to be empowered and still feel uncomfortable with saying no, we might try to find ways around just saying no. Being unclear in our assertions removes the assertiveness of our statements. It is unfair to ourselves and to the people we are communicating with notto be honest, concise, and clear about the limitation weare setting. No means no, and that’s okay.

Enlightened Solutions seeks to empower men and women to live their best possible lives in recovery, free from the damaging effects of drugs and alcohol. For more information on our dual diagnosis residential treatment programs, call 833-801-5483.